Are You a Problem Announcer?

My dog, Lemmy, isn’t much of a problem solver. He’s a world-class problem announcer, though.

Lemmy’s definition of “problem” ranges from “someone rang a doorbell on TV” to “someone rang the actual doorbell.” In other words, my dog is a redundant doorbell. And unlike my actual doorbell, Lem Lem shits a lot. My actual doorbell hardly ever shits.

I’m just kidding. I don’t have a doorbell. This blogging thing doesn’t pay doorbell-having money. If you want to see me in person, you’ll have to knock on my door. I won’t answer it, but to be fair, I also won’t answer it if you push the spot where the doorbell button is supposed to be. Lemmy will flip the fuck out either way, though. Your move, Knocky.

“Problem announcing” has much less value to society than problem solving. That’s why Lemmy still lives with his mom and dad at 28-dog-years-old: his complete lack of marketable skills.

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These Are The People In Your Neighborhood. Sorry.

Every year, the Kennedy Center Honors are awarded to venerable artists in the United States for lifetime achievement and impact on American culture.

I check my mailbox once or twice a year in the hopes I’ll be recognized. Truth be told, I really just want a cool rainbow medallion. I could probably save a lot of time and money with a trip to Michael’s, versus all that “honing my generational talent into a marketable craft” crap. Not to mention I could stop checking my mail outright. I never get anything, except Bed Bath & Beyond coupons and angry letters from debt collectors. Exactly how do you propose I catch up on my bills when Bed Bath & Beyond has such great deals AND an extra 20% off? It’s a vicious cycle. Get off my back, Visa.

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To Tell The Truth, I’m Obviously Lying

Plausible deniability is a crucial component of any ongoing violation of laws or norms. If you’re going to intentionally engage in nefarious deeds, you have to have your story straight for when the eventual scrutiny (such as, let’s say, impeachment) comes.

That which you are straightening is indeed a “story” because it is, by definition, not a true reckoning of whatever drug deal you’re up to. It is at best a quasi-believable version of events that counts on the listener giving you the benefit of the doubt. At worst, it’s a thinly veiled lie.

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When In Doubt, Don’t Bark

It’s human nature to categorize things, recognize patterns, and extrapolate missing data. Actually, it might be better described as animal nature.

My dog Lemmy uses process of elimination to determine where I hide the treats. He might do so clumsily, checking the same spot two or three times en route to crossing it off his list. But he’s definitely categorizing and extrapolating, ham-handed (maybe ham-pawed, as it were) or not.

Lemmy utilizes basic cause-and-effect to recognize that giving me “sad puppy dog eyes” will nab him some of whatever I’m eating. Incidentally, both of us have the same favorite cuisine: people food. Maybe he cuts his losses with hard-nosed Mom, and doubles down on Dad. He notices a pattern: Dad is more easily swayed to part with the scraps.

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If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Delegitimize ‘Em

For decades, our country’s love of football has crossed political, socioeconomic, and generational lines.

And by “football,” I mean the game played on a gridiron with a prolate spheroid inflated leather ball. The athletic contest that requires gladiatorial equipment to protect the players from gruesome injuries. The sport where the players incur gruesome injuries anyway when they’re hit by people in gladiatorial equipment. The spectacle that’s played in North America and literally nowhere else…except of course when we trot it overseas to play in front of wide-eyed people with no earthly clue as to what is happening on the field. The game George Will once perfectly described as “violence punctuated by committee meetings.” Continue reading

Bad Stuff Is Probably Happening Somewhere

Bad stuff happens everywhere. I don’t mean “bad stuff” like getting in a fender bender. Or even really bad stuff like your Internet crapping out in the middle of streaming your seventh consecutive episode of This Is How To Get Away With A Million Little Scandals With The Stars: Miami.

No, I’m talking about Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse-level bad stuff. Continue reading

Straight Outta Mar-A-Lago

It is possible that there exists a tape recording of the President of the United States using a racial epithet. And it’s likely that, if unearthed and played for the world to hear, it won’t matter in the slightest.

Note: I’m not talking about whether or not he said it. I’m certain he did. So is Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

I’m talking about whether someone recorded him saying it, and whether that recording will become public. Continue reading

Next Infrastructure Week, Let’s Pave The Road To Hell.

They say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.  I am not sure who “they” are but they make an excellent point.

Acting on one’s good intentions, such as giving advice in the form of proverbs, can have unintended negative consequences.

President George W. Bush wanted to improve America’s public schools. As a well-heeled, conservative businessman, he believed that if students could just move to Connecticut and go to expensive prep schools, we’d get a double benefit: better education and deeper bench strength for the U.S. yachting team. Continue reading

5 Easy Ways To Be A Good Kid (Or President)

All of the knowledge I needed to acquire, I acquired in my first year of formal education.

I had a much catchier first line for this post, but someone else copyrighted it. Stupid bastard.

Which brings me to my first lesson, incidentally!

1) Don’t call people names.

When you call people mean names, it hurts their feelings. And when their feelings are hurt, they are a lot less likely to listen to anything else you have to say. Making fun of someone’s size, calling them dishonest, or pulling a reference from an Elton John song all have the potential to make people mad and cause big problems for you! Continue reading